As Americans Age, They Feel The Effects of Sprawl

America's baby boomers were born when sprawl and the move away from public transit were just taking off, and during their lives those trends have taken on a life of their own, becoming defining characteristics of the American cultural and physical landscape. But as a recent USA Today article points out, "as the oldest of the nation's 79 million baby boomers turn 61 this year, the specter of aging and its consequences loom large." The consequence of aging to which the article is specifically referring is the fact that "21% of Americans over the age of 65 don't drive," meaning that the very system created during their lives now threatens to greatly limit the mobility of the boomer generation as they move into retirement.

We've covered many of the environmental effects of sprawl before, but for the elderly, a lack of transportation options equates to dependency, isolation and loneliness. While climate change and other environmental issues loom unavoidably large, one of the problems has been that it is hard to put a human face on them. But all of us have parents, grandparents, relatives or friends that will suffer as a result of how we have chosen to design and build our cities. What we need to do a better job of is connecting quality of life to land-use and climate change, so that people will feel inspired to take action because action means better cities, jobs and products for them.

Via: ::USA Today

See Also: ::The Problems With Green Sprawl, ::Radiant City: A Documentary about Suburban Sprawl, ::Interview: Don Schmitt on Sprawl, ::Los Angeles on the Verge of Nation's Best Mass Transit?, ::US Cities Make You Fat, and ::The Long Emergency: a Long Review

Tags: Transportation

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